Long Distance

During my 27 years in the Air Force, I moved 16 times and lived in five different countries. I was stationed on the West Coast (Cali), on the East Coast (New Hampshire), in North Dakota and Texas and lived in or traveled to many places in between. I’ve kept in touch with many and lost touch with even more.

What I love about my most intimate circle of friends, who mostly live elsewhere, is the way I can pick up the phone and the conversation; no matter how long it’s been since we last talked, I never feel judged or like I have to apologize. I get to fully feel the love.

Inhale Openness, Exhale Expectations…
Inhale Receptivity, Exhale Recriminations…
Inhale Joy, Exhale Judgment…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe

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The Plank in My Eye

I couldn’t understand how my friend who had endured an egregious breach of trust in her relationship was considering reconciliation.

And then I remembered the arguments I had with my parents as I determined if I needed to end my abusive marriage. The decision seemed obvious to them but I had a lot that I needed to consider, most importantly, the welfare of my child. I needed time to reflect, not pressure from people who would not have to live with my decision.

And I apologized to my friend for questioning her process.

““Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?” Mathew 7: 3-4, NIV

Inhale Compassion, Exhale Judgment…
Inhale My Own Business, Exhale Hypocrisy…
Inhale Self-Reflection, Exhale Oblivion…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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I Define Me

Defining others based on our own experiences creates a comfortable sense of familiarity…we think we know them. But whether we’re identifying with or judging another person, our preconceived definitions sometimes prevent us from knowing others truly, deeply and authentically.

Inhale Authenticity, Exhale Misunderstanding…
Inhale Open Mindedness, Exhale Judgment…
Inhale Present Moment Awareness, Exhale Pre-conceived Idea…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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Moral Leader

It’s become obvious to me that the more moralistic the leader, the less moral he is likely to be.

“Morality means acting in ways that are sensitive to the needs of others….Moralism is the assumption that you know the right behavior for everyone…” ~ Thomas Moore, A Religion of One’s Own

Inhale Morality, Exhale Moralism…
Inhale Generosity, Exhale Judgment…
Inhale Grace, Exhale Sanctimony…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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Blaming Superwoman

Charley Bordelon West, middle child of the fictional Bordelon family from Oprah’s OWN “Queen Sugar” is a black woman we don’t get to see often on TV. Stunning, smart and strategic, she is usually the smartest person in whatever room she occupies.

This season has been all about the cracks in the façade of control she presents to the world. Yet during a curated discussion of the show with other women, Charley’s revelation of just a sliver of vulnerability…the escape of a tightly held tear down her face…elicited derision and suspicion.

It was a familiar reaction and reminded me that we often don’t even permit ourselves or each other the dimensions and layers of a richly imagined character…

We’ve been raised in a culture that denies us the value of experiencing our sadness. I believe our tears are a sign of release…a natural part of our emotional cleansing system and they promote our ability to heal.” ~ Julia A. Boyd, Girlfriend to Girlfriend

Inhale Vulnerability, Exhale Repression…
Inhale Authenticity, Exhale Suspicion…
Inhale Emotions, Exhale Judgment…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Compassion

Have you ever watched someone you’re close to make a stupid choice and wondered, “Why can’t she see this is NOT going to turn out well?”

I’ve done that…and then I remember the stupid thing I did when I didn’t pay attention to my accountability partners or my own inner knowing…my God voice whispering, then shouting… “Don’t. Do It!”

And I work on being a little more compassionate…

It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt?” Matthew 7: 3-4 MSG

Inhale Compassion, Exhale Judgment…
Inhale Compassion, Exhale Hypocrisy…
Inhale Compassion, Exhale Contempt…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Experience

Experience is the best teacher…”

I’ve seen some people live this saying as if they can ONLY learn through their own experienced mistakes. And while I concede those lessons tend to be the most enduring, I wonder…isn’t is possible to learn through someone else’s experience?

But then I’m reminded that life is not necessarily supposed to be smooth all the time. The life lessons gained through good and bad experiences help us get to who we’re supposed to be.

Out of the cacophony of random suffering and chaos that can mark human life, the life artist sees or creates a symphony of meaning and order. A life of wholeness does not depend on what we experience. Wholeness depends on how we experience our lives.” ~ Desmond Tutu

Inhale Experience, Exhale Judgment…
Inhale Detachment, Exhale Judgment…
Inhale Acceptance, Exhale Judgment…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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